Janet Swim



Professor of Psychology
(814) 863-1730


Ph. D., University of Minnesota, 1988

Professional Bio

Dr. Swim strives to build on our better nature for nature to create a more livable planet for all life now and in the future.

She uses experimental and survey research to examine the psychological underpinnings of people's willingness to engage in personal and collective pro-environmental actions and support policies that affect natural processes and, by extension, all life. Her current research is examining 1) different ways people psychologically connect to and value nature, 2) the complexity of thoughts about the interface between human actions and natural processes, and 3) emotions about and anticipated positive and negative consequences of ecological problems and solutions.

She works in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams composed of natural scientists, social scientists, artists, and educators. Funded by NSF and the Belmont Forum, she is currently working with an international team to understand public perception of land use change and policies to address the impact of such land use on water quality.  In the past, she was been a part of NNOCI (National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation) where she and a team of other researchers evaluated a program to increase educators' ability to talk about climate change at Zoos and Aquariums (NOCCI). On another project she and Ash Gillis worked with Mt. Cuba Center to  create a neighborhood "Growing Together" program to increase planting native plants in neighborhoods. 

Recent publications. 

 Swim, J.K., Guerriero, J.G., Lengieza, M.L., & Cameron, C.D. (in press).  The effects of stereotypes about animals’ competence and armth on empathy choice.  Anthroprozoo. 

 Geiger, N., Dwyer, T., & Swim, J.K. (in press).  Hoping for a climate of change: A Systematic and meta-analytic review of the quantitative Literature on Hope and Climate Engagement.  Frontiers. 

 Geiger, N., Swim, J. K., Mallett, R. K., & Mulvey, L. L. (2022). Experience Matters: Civic Discussion Increases Self-Efficacy and Reduces Forecasted Discomfort in Future Conversations. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/19485506221143593 

 Swim, J.K., Aviste, R., Lengieza, M.L., Fasano, C.J. (2022). OK Boomer: A decade of generational differences in feelings about climate change. Global and Environmental Change. 73, 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102479 

 Lengieza, M. L., & Swim, J. K. (2021). The Paths to Connectedness: A Review of the Antecedents of Connectedness to Nature. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 5127. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.763231 

 Swim, J. K., & Geiger, N. (2021). Policy attributes, perceived impacts, and climate change policy preferences. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 77, 101673. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101673 

Janet Swim


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